Man killed in one punch, documents say

The man who told police he punched Desmond Johnson was ordered held without bail on Tuesday.

Paul Hagans Jr., 36, was identified by police as the man arrested and charged with aggravated assault for Johnson’s death.

According to charging documents, on March 2, Hagans, a construction worker, was in charge of traffic control when a coworker pointed out a man who was throwing traffic cones.

Hagans approached the man, later identified as Johnson, and “words were exchanged.” Hagans told police the situation escalated and Johnson allegedly held a traffic cone and “flinched” toward Hagans, who punched Johnson in response. Hagan fled the scene.

Johnson collapsed on the 200 Block of Rhode Island Ave., NE, where metro transit police found him suffering from trauma, according to police.

Johnson was brought to a nearby hospital and succumbed to his injuries the following day. The coroner ruled his cause of blunt force trauma to the head and declared Johnson’s death a homicide.

After investigating the incident, police called Hagans at which time he told police “he had hit the guy and knows he’s going to jail” and further promised to turn himself in later that night.

Hagans was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault, though additional charges are pending in the wake of Johnson’s death.

The defendant is being held without bond and will be presented in court March 13 for a preliminary hearing.


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